Dave Ramsey preached his gospel of financial planning to a packed auditorium Thursday night, with some devoted fans driving hundreds of miles to see the show.
The centerpiece on stage was a wooden kitchen table. The table, he explained, was a constant during Ramseys journey from bankrupt debtor to national media star. But it also was where he watched his kids grow up, including daughter Rachel Cruze, who joined Ramsey on the Legacy Journey Live tour a speaking tour aimed at family finances and building wealth to pass on.
The sold-out show at the Morrison Center drew local fans, including Gov. Butch Otter and his wife. Some of the attendees said theyve followed Ramseys methods for months or even years.
Meridian resident Jennifer Connor is a relative newcomer to Ramsey fandom. She took one of his Financial Peace University courses a few months ago and started the seven baby steps Ramsey recommends for getting out of debt.
I just finished step two, by paying off outstanding debts, including a car, a credit card and student loans, Connor said.
Shes now working on the third step: building enough savings to cover three to six months worth of expenses.
As a mother of two, Connor hoped to take away something new from watching Ramsey and his daughter talk on stage about how to leave a legacy.
On the other end of the spectrum was Andrew Holtz, a Boisean who has followed Ramsey for 10 years. Following his stuff got me out of debt, he said.
Paying off his student loans from medical school and paying other bills gave his family more freedom, he said. They now can give more to their church and have been able to move and change jobs two or three times without worrying about mortgages or debts, he said.
The auditorium was filled with couples and families, among them Mike and Anthony Cummings, a father and son.
Mike Cummings, of Kuna, said he whittled down his debts to $3,000 by following Ramseys methods.
Cummings still has one credit card a piece of plastic Ramsey abhors but uses it in a reasonable way, he said, and pays it off every month.
Some audience members said they wanted tips from Ramsey on investing or building a nest egg.
Were working toward saving for retirement and paying off our home, said Taylor Kartchner. It really does bring peace when youre financially stable.
Katie Richey said her family has followed Ramseys steps for three years and paid off everything but their mortgage.
We have kids (and are) more looking toward the future, she said.
Audrey Dutton: 377-6448,Twitter: @IDS_Audrey